Guam sailors receive sex assault prevention training
Hawaii’s Master Mobile Training Teams (MMTTs) from the Navy’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Task Force deployed to U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) to provide SAPR-F (Fleet) preparation training Jan. 9-12.
The training, mandated by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), is the latest event in the Navy’s aggressive efforts to prevent sexual assault and promote essential culture changes within the force.
Rear Adm. Tilghman D. Payne, Commander, Joint Region Marianas, delivered opening remarks and stressed the need for all Sailors to take an active role in sexual assault prevention.
“Prevention of sexual assault is all of our responsibility,” Payne said. “You are leaders and you are responsible not only for yourselves but also for not allowing this to happen in our Navy. We have to change our culture.”
Training facilitator Cmdr. Kerry Abramson, executive officer of Region Legal Service Office Hawaii, said the class allowed attendees to gain useful and vital information they will need to share with their commands.
“This training is a big deal,” Abramson said. “We are training these leaders to speak to their own people with SAPR questions that will be open and honest and in a way that they will be able to receive answers immediately.”
In addition to a slide presentation, attendees viewed the SAPR-F film titled, “Taking the Helm,” which emphasized sexual assault awareness and protection and the importance of bystander intervention.
“I think the video is really good,” Abramson said. “You get support from the four-star CNO and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy right off the bat and the video is done in such a way that people want to watch it.”
Evangeline Cabacar, NBG’s Fleet and Family Support Center SAPR coordinator, said she was pleased to see command leadership at the training to reinforce the message of sexual assault prevention.
“We talk about setting the culture, changing the culture of sexual assault and definitely the admiral’s involvement will change that,” she said. “Because it is mandated training, it is going to make a huge impact Navy-wide across the installation. This is certainly a good way making that change.”
Cabacar said one of the biggest problems why sexual assault victims in the service don’t report the crime is they feel no one understands sexual assault especially within their chain of command. “This training is going to validate to victims and people that their commands do understand, and that they are participating in the zero tolerance against sexual assault.”
Sexual assault prevention is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative, which builds resiliency to hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy.
Additional information on the MMTT and SAPR-F training efforts can be found at the SAPR-L (Leadership)/F training web pages, including command registration for SAPR-F training at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/sapr/Pages/training.aspx.
For more information about Navy SAPR, visit www.sapr.navy.mil.